Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Ideation Do's and Don'ts

There is a right way and a wrong way to run a brainstorm or ideation meeting. A little preparation pays dividends. It is very important to separate the two phases of the meeting. The first part of the meeting is idea generation when you use divergent thinking. The second part is idea selection when you use convergent thinking. Here are ...

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Turning Thoughts into Action

All action and no thinking is bad; so too is all thinking and no action. The search for perfection can easily lead to procrastination. Because we cannot conceive an ideal solution we keep searching and searching. We use one thinking tool after another and fall into paralysis by analysis. For most situations in life, there is a time for thought ...

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Discovery versus Innovation

Botanists, Television, and the iPad by Paul Sloane Liquid crystals were discovered in 1888 and are now used in most TVs and computers (including the iPad). Liquid crystals represent a state of matter which exists between solid and liquid states. They were first discovered in 1888 by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer who was studying cholesterol at the Charles University in ...

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The Who What Why of Innovation

This problem analysis method examines an issue from twelve different viewpoints. It is based on the words of the poem by Rudyard Kipling: I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who. We probe the topic using these questioning words from a positive ...

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Create a Culture of Successful Failure

Very often the best way to test an idea is not to analyze it but to try it. The organization that implements lots of ideas will most likely have many failures but the chances are, it will reap some mighty successes too. By trying numerous initiatives we improve our chances that one of them will be a star. As Tom ...

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Evaluating Ideas

Generating a large number of ideas is a key part of the creative thinking process. The more ideas you come up with the more likely you are to find something truly innovative. But having a long list of ideas creates an issue. How do you select the best ideas to carry through to implementation? Have you ever been in a ...

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Innovators Welcome Ambiguity

Brilliant thinkers and innovators are very comfortable with ambiguity – they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity; they dislike ambiguity. There is a tendency in our society to reduce complex issues down to simple issues with obviously clear solutions. We see evidence of this in the tabloid press. There have been some terrible crimes committed in our cities. ...

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Who Killed Our Business?

Most business managers go through the annual ritual of budgeting. We plan the next one or two years based on the actual results of the most recent year. We draw up a spreadsheet and plan line by line – sales revenues up 10% and costs held to a 5% increase means a modest improvement in profits. We should have learned ...

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